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Pakistanis less concerned about LeT: poll

world Updated: Jul 31, 2010 01:06 IST

Though a big number of people in Pakistan describe terrorism as a major problem, a majority of them are far less concerned about India-centric terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba as compared to Taliban and al-Qaeda.

"Just 35 per cent have a negative view of Lashkar-e- Taiba, a much lower percentage than for the other extremist organisations tested," said the Pew Research Center in its latest opinion poll released today.

One-in-four Pakistanis express a positive assessment, while 40 per cent offer no opinion about the outfit which US security experts have warned is trying to expand its reach beyond the region.

Over a period of year, Pew said, Pakistanis were less worried that extremists might take control of the country.

Last year, at a time when the Pakistani military was taking action against Taliban in the Swat Valley within 160 kilometres of the nation's capital, 69 per cent were very or somewhat worried about extremist groups taking control of Pakistan. Today, just 51 per cent express concern about an extremist takeover, Pew said.

Pew said Pakistanis remain in a grim mood about the state of their country. Overwhelming majorities are dissatisfied with national conditions, unhappy with the nation's economy, and concerned about political corruption and crime.

Only one-in-five express a positive view of President Asif Ali Zardari, down from 64 per cent just two years ago.

"Nonetheless, both Taliban and al-Qaeda remain unpopular among Pakistanis -- 65 per cent give the Taliban an unfavorable rating and 53 per cent feel this way about al-Qaeda," Pew said.

Negative views toward these groups have become a little less prevalent over the past year, while positive views have crept up slightly, it said.